Did you know that 1 in 10 dogs and cats have some type of heart problem? That’s a pretty sobering number, but there are lots of ways we can help. Here at 30th Street Animal Hospital, we stay on the cutting edge of veterinary technology. We’re proud to offer some very high-tech options, such as cardiac radiology. An East Indianapolis, IN vet discusses some key basics below.
As with people, cardiac radiology uses medical images to detect and identify heart issues in pets. It can also be used to determine whether a cough is caused by respiratory or cardiac issues.
Our furry friends can develop several different heart-related issues. With dogs, some, such as valvular disease, are more common in small dogs, while others, such as cardiomyopathy, are more frequently seen in large dogs. Many heart issues are genetic. Others develop due to injury, infection, or parasites. As with people, senior and obese pets are at increased risk. Since different issues require different treatments, it’s crucial to get a good diagnosis. This can be harder with pets than with people, as they don’t always want to stay still. Cardiac radiology allows us to get very detailed and precise information, and helps ensure accurate diagnoses.
Heart problems in pets can manifest in a variety of ways. Lethargy is one thing to look for. Other red flags include respiratory issues, such as difficulty breathing, rapid or shallow breathing, and/or coughing; an elevated heart rate; weakness; and even fainting or collapse. Dogs may also tire out quickly, and may seem reluctant to play or exercise. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these or any other warning signs.
Digital radiology isn’t the only thing used to diagnose cardiac issues. A physical exam is, of course, first and foremost. We may also check your pet’s blood pressure. If needed, we will then order further tests, such as X-Rays, blood tests, and/or ultrasounds. The electrocardiogram, or EKG, is another wonderful tool. EKGs, as you may know, detect issues, such as arrhythmias, by tracking and analyzing electrical activity in the heart. Ask us for more information!
Do you have questions about your pet’s health? Contact 30th Street Animal Hospital, serving the Lawrence area of Indianapolis, IN!